Scum’s Wish – Preview
Original Air Dates: January 12th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Yasuraoka Hanabi and Awaya Mugi appear to be the ideal high school couple. They’re popular and seem to suit one another well. However, no one knows the true secret these two share. Both Mugi and Hanabi have crushes on new Teachers Akane Minagawa and Kanai Narumi, respectively. Akane was Mugi’s home tutor and Narumi was Hanabi’s older neighbor and semi-father figure. Unable to deal with their unrequited love, both Mugi and Hanabi agree to begin dating, to share their loneliness through physical intimacy. Will they forever remain in this loveless, falsehood of a relationship?
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Scum’s Wish takes unrequited love and unconventional relationships to a whole new level with its premise of people being used and using each other all for the sake of fantasizing about their crush/unrequited love and avoiding their loneliness. It’s a premise that might resonate with some or entertain those who are tired of the more conventional and formulaic romances in anime but at the same time, it might feel too convoluted or exaggerated for others who wanted a non-mushy but still realistic take on love and relationships.
Tom: Visually Scum’s Wish takes an unusual approach to adapting its manga. Quite a few scenes are still done using manga panel styling, giving the proceedings a vaguely artistic feel. It’s an interesting approach, one that’s bound to appeal to audiences interested in new approaches to adaptation and animation, but likely to turn off viewers who prefer more traditional styles.
Linny: Scum’s Wish definitely has some rather unique visual style, one that can prove to be a double edged sword. In this case, the use of scenery and visual imagery is used to add a lot to the atmosphere and mood of the situation, making for an effective tool in storytelling without having to actually spell it all out for us.
Tom: Hanabi is initially quite relatable as she pines for her childhood crush, and wallows in the frustration of seeing him go googly-eyed for another woman. But as we get into the meat of the story, and her frustration takes a darker turn, she becomes less relatable and instead seems far more stupid, foolish, and even mean spirited. For viewers who desire likable leads, she’s going to be tough to love.
Linny: Hanabi definitely comes off as somewhat relatable earlier on as who hasn’t had an unrequited teenage crush or two? There’s a very clear reason as to why she is so devoted to the object of her affection despite his complete lack of interest and awareness about her feelings. However, as she gets more and more mean spirited, it becomes that much harder to relate. On the other hand, Mugi starts off pretty neutral/unlikable and watching him grope and undress Hanabi even as she’s clearly crying makes for a very awkward and uncomfortable scene with a somewhat sinister vibe.
Tom: There’s some great atmosphere here, solid music to sell the series’ more morbid tone of unrequited love, but the path our characters take to halt the aches of their hearts is likely to be divisive. And older viewers, more weathered in the affairs of love, are perhaps likely to find their behavior foolish and difficult to appreciate, even if it does subvert anime romance expectations. Hanabi’s refusal to let go will either be refreshing or off putting, and I can’t say I’m in the former camp.
Linny: Having read the manga source, I have an idea of what comes next so I already have some prejudices against the show thanks to my dislike of the upcoming content. Without spoiling too much, the story gets outrageously silly as it eventually turns out that almost everyone in the story seem to be suffering from childhood crushes and unrequited loves. If you’re in the market for a really extreme dramatization of ‘love’ gone wrong, you might enjoy Scum’s Wish. However, if you cannot stand teenagers who stick stubbornly to childhood crushes and refuse to do the right or logical thing, you’re likely just going to end up frustrated and unimpressed.
Tom: I can tell Scum’s Wish isn’t for me. It’s probably not for a lot of people, specifically anyone who has trouble going down the rabbit hole with our leads Hanabi and Mugi or who isn’t need of a complete and total subversion of anime romance norms. I can see how it would have appeal to a specific audience though and if you’re in need of a fresh, yet entirely messed up take, Scum’s Wish may just be the show for you. That’s assuming you’re okay with Anime Strike, requiring a subscription on top of Amazon Prime’s subscription.
Scum’s Wish is available for streaming via Amazon.